Rand Paul introduces his Obamacare replacement


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Competing crap: Senator Rand Paul, who opposes the Obamacare replacement introduced by the Republican leadership, introduced his own bill today to replace Obamacare.

I’ve looked at the summary [pdf] of his bill, and it contains most of the same problems contained in the Republican leadership’s proposal. Neither repeals Obamacare really, since both keep the ability of everyone to wait until they are sick before they buy health insurance, thereby guaranteeing that every health insurance company will go bankrupt.

We need Congress to repeal Obamacare, clean and simple. The tinkering by Congress in this business has only caused problems. The more tinkering they do, the more problems they will cause. They need to get out, now.

16 comments

  • LocalFluff

    The incentive and financing problem could be partly solved by providing health care credits instead of cover. Most of those who don’t want to get preventive insurance are young and will often recover from a health problem. They can repay rehabilitating health care during decades to come. Put a ceiling of, say, 10% of the income (if any) to be paid afterwards. Would recover a large share of the health care costs. Health care is sometimes actually a profitable investment, even for the government, especially for young healthy people who don’t want to pay a premium up front.

  • Frank

    Id like to see a plan that simply enables and promotes free-market competition. That will drive down prices and improve consumer choices. Done. Next problem.

  • LocalFluff: You are doing exactly what Congress is doing: tinker, tinker, tinker. Why can’t we let freedom and the choices of individuals determine what happens, instead of some big government law and the bureaucracy that goes with it?

  • Des

    Robert, repealing Obamacare without having a replacement will mean up to 20 million people losing insurance, many of whom voted Republican in the last election. Why would that not be political suicide?

    For efficient operation of free markets there needs to be efficient exchange of information and plenty of competition. People do not understand medicine and rely on their doctors, and do not hunt for bargains when diagnosed with serious illness. Many hospitals are virtual monopolies and can exploit this when charging.

  • wodun

    repealing Obamacare without having a replacement will mean up to 20 million people losing insurance

    This isn’t true. Most of the expansion was in Medicare and most were already eligible for it under the old system. Obamacare was sold on 0% of people not having insurance and yet there are still many millions who do not have it. Where are the Obamacare supporters freaking out about that?

    The real number is less than 10 million. Considering that many of these people pay out of pocket for healthcare and still pay part of their premium, it isn’t unlikely that many of these people would be able to afford some form of insurance if the government didn’t drive up prices with mandated coverages like maternity care for men.

    Insurance rates also track closely with employment. As unemployment improved(s) the rate have insurance has and will improve too.

    and do not hunt for bargains when diagnosed with serious illness

    This is impossible with our current system.

    Many hospitals are virtual monopolies and can exploit this when charging.

    A situation created through government meddling at several levels. Obamacare has forced the conglomeration of small practices into large ones and most states have regulations that prevent hospitals from opening based on beds to population ratios of existing facilities.

  • wodun

    LocalFluff
    March 9, 2017 at 11:27 am
    The incentive and financing problem could be partly solved by providing health care credits instead of cover.

    Mandatory HSA’s. The money stays with the individual without passing through several other hands before returning to the individual. A tax exempt account without caps, although maybe with a high yearly contribution cap, and with a portion of which could be invested for long term security would be much better than Obamacare.

  • Max

    Des,
    “repealing Obamacare without having a replacement will mean up to 20 million people losing insurance”
    Or dozens of insurance company’s losing 20 million people paying far too much for their insurance plan. All of which would gladly go back to paying 1/10 the price, for a plan they like, and finding the physician they used to have and were promised they could keep.
    The Democrats promised everyone the moon, built us a ship that would never get off the ground. Billions of dollars over budget just for the computer system that should’ve cost no more than a few million let alone all the other agencies that receive money that no longer exist.
    It’s become obvious that “Cronies” receiving the money was the real intent of the healthcare, now it’s the Republicans turn to cash in on the repeal and replace so they can get their piece of that public pie.
    “Be aware of those with good intentions”, the real intent is their own needs, and those who help them along the way. The infrastructure is in place, the ship has been built. Scraping it now would be a huge waste of taxpayer money. Never mind that their solution of draining the fuel and removing the guidance system to lighten the load, there’s no way this thing is going to get off the ground anyway. They think the future will tweak it, adjust it, and then it will work but that’s the way politicians always shrug responsibility on to the next generation. After all, their job is not to come up with ideas, or solutions, they have people for that… But simply authorize the spending of money! That is their job is to spend money! They could not do their job any better. (The Republicans are going to try.)
    Break the hospital monopolies, get The middleman out of the healthcare equation. With more money going to actual care, the prices will fall so low that anyone can afford it. Governments only position in healthcare should be weights and measures and courts. A standard for deregulated medication, for fake healthcare and medicare scams, taking care of our vets as promised. Open up the market and there will be no limit on what we can accomplish… It’s the American way.

  • wayne

    Max–
    Good stuff!
    (especially enjoyed the thought: “Governments only position in healthcare should be weights and measures and courts.”)

    The 20 million “uninsured” number has always been a fake made-up number.

    Cronies Out to Lunch
    https://youtu.be/OuYIyYMkYuc

  • Laurie

    “Neither repeals Obamacare really, since both keep the ability of everyone to wait until they are sick before they buy health insurance, thereby guaranteeing that every health insurance company will go bankrupt.”

    So instead of a mandate, you’re in favor of allowing insurance companies to say, “No” (effectively, through pricing), like they once were able to … how … drastic ;)

    I agree, less is more, but maybe there is an argument to be made for “softening the landing.”

  • wayne

    Laurie–
    Must-issue and community-rating’s, destroy the underlying concept of insurance.
    You can’t buy auto insurance after you wreck your car, fire-insurance after your house burns down, or life-insurance after you have died.
    That’s just not insurance.

    -The debate you bring up is, “To what extent should the Federal Government spend general revenues on people who would otherwise be unable to buy insurance, or who can not afford insurance, at any given time.”
    That is a debate we never have.

    Even if the “uninsured” number was 20 million, why would we nationalize the entire healthcare-sector and mess up the insurance for 200 million of the rest of us?

  • Max

    Wayne, bull’s-eye.

    Laurie, this equation cuts both ways. “allowing the insurance companies to say no”
    At present, we are not allowed to say “no” to the insurance companies… This is “tragic” and un-American. Insurance companies will not go bankrupt. They Will need to complete for our business but they do have a place in the market. They do not need a government mandated monopoly so they can give out million dollar bonuses. (my brother owns an insurance business and his worst concern is finding a country that he has not been to for a vacation this year)
    Whatever happened to being self insured? Does no one put money away for a rainy day? Will government take care of our every need even if we don’t need it?
    I say insurance companies should bring back catastrophic insurance at a reasonable price. That way if something really bad happens you will not be destitute and the hospital won’t be left holding the bag. My life, my choice. I shouldn’t be made to pay for others bad choices.
    Medical savings accounts would work great. You can place money in there tax free that can only be used for healthcare. It can be for family members,10% allowed to transfer to someone who needs a donation (for say a liver transplant), and unused portions can be inherited by your children or grandchildren for their medical needs. You will not be able to borrow against it, to cash it out, or to be taken by lawyers in a settlement or the IRS. The best part is that politicians can’t touch it. Unlike what we currently have where 90% of the funds are spent for paperwork, regulations, and overhead and only a fraction of the cost are used for actual health care.
    Are the funds limited? Yes. Is this tragic? Perhaps, but then life is full of tragedies. And the worst tragedy of all is that everyone dies… Even if we were able to spend $1 billion of government funds on every person, it would not be enough and only serve to pre-long the inevitable, which is, we will die anyway. It’s a hard truth, as is the recent news that the life expectancy in the United States has dropped the first time ever since Obamacare was in acted…

  • PeterF

    The other day Rand Paul was on TV slamming the Trump-care bill. Trust me, thats what the lame stream media will call it when it starts to fail. (immediately) (After the republicans ram it through without democrat support) Then they will feel justified in whining about how if the dastardly republicans had just left Obama-care alone everything would be just hunky-dory!
    Why didn’t he just re-submit the clean repeal-only bill that was just recently passed with unanimous republican support? The recently re-elected rinos would have a hard time justifying why they would vote against something they thought was beneficial to the country just months ago (and open themselves up to being primaryed as a bonus!)

    And would everyone PLEASE STOP referring to the democrat party as the “democratic party”! The recent disenfranchisement of crazy Bernie Sanders proves they are about as democratic as the soviet socialists were! (are?) (or dare I say? the “national socialists?)

  • wayne

    PeterF and Max– good stuff.

  • Edward

    Wayne wrote: “You can’t buy auto insurance after you wreck your car, fire-insurance after your house burns down, or life-insurance after you have died.

    Because it would be insanity to allow someone to buy insurance after the need for it exists, let’s try a gedankenexperiment in order to figure out what might happen. If I don’t have to buy insurance until after the need for it, then I won’t buy it until then. My house burns down? No problem; I just buy the insurance, and now I’m covered. Think of the ten thousand dollars in insurance bills I save during the rest of my life – just on fire insurance. When my neighbor dies, there is no problem; I just take out a posthumous life insurance policy, and now I’m rich, rich, rich!

    The insurance companies would need some other incentive to generate customers, such as a government mandate that employers buy insurance for their employees and that the unemployed be mandated to buy insurance that they don’t need or don’t have the money to buy. So much for the freedom to choose. Not having the money to buy insurance, those not covered by parents or employers remain uncovered until after an expensive need for the insurance, when they borrow money from a good friend in order to buy the post-need insurance.

    The lack of income from the healthy and the tremendous outflow to those who ail results in a dramatic increase in the price of insurance for those employers who provide insurance, resulting in it becoming harder to afford to hire new employees or keep the current ones, resulting in fewer people being hired and fewer people being covered, resulting in a dramatic increase in the price of insurance costs for those employers who provide insurance.

    Fortunately, this thought experiment is never going to happen in real life, because we can see that such insanity would be a disaster and would quickly implode under its own stupidity.

    Wait … that is what’s happening under Obamacare and is what would continue to happen under Republicancare. In fact, this system of healthcare insurance is so bad, that even Congress asked Obama for relief from the high cost of Obamacare insurance.

    If the highly paid Congress and their staffs cannot afford it, what chance do the rest of us have?

    Max asked: “Will government take care of our every need even if we don’t need it?

    No. But they will take care of their cronies’ needs, even if their cronies don’t need it. Are you ready and willing to become a crony?

    PeterF wrote: “would everyone PLEASE STOP referring to the democrat party as the ‘democratic party’

    You are correct that the Democratic Party is not democratic, but unfortunately that is the proper name of the party, in the United States. Mislabeling itself is yet another way that the party fools its members into thinking that they are the good guys.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States)

  • Laurie

    Of course, the point is not merely to have coverage, but to have actual health care. To be clear, mandates are, for a lack of a better term, evil. I live in Canada and, even though I am “covered”, the care in my part of the country, to quote the local newspaper, “ranks poorly.” I know this from personal experience, unfortunately.

    What I mean to express is that coverage cannot imply care unless there is also compassion, and although charity has its limits, compassion is one thing that cannot (or ought not) be delegated – particularly to government, or to industry for that matter.

    I don’t know what the best approach to repeal and replace is; my principles say repeal then replace, but if not done properly things could get a lot worse before they get better.

    Thanks for all of the food for thought, everyone.

  • Edward

    Laurie,
    It looks for all the world like government healthcare in Canada is set up mostly for the convenience of the government — as in the government gets to say that it cares for its citizens. Unfortunately, it seems that the price of this free government healthcare can be more than just the higher prices of goods and services and the additional taxes imposed; it can literally cost a leg (maybe an arm, too, but I have no evidence of that, yet), as Steven Crowder points out:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2jijuj1ysw#t=614 (watch the next minute of video)

    “Free” or not, having healthcare is not enough; it must also be timely and be quality care. Otherwise, what is the point? If healthcare is delayed to the point that quality of life is affected, then the life saved looks good on the survival statistics report, but the patient still suffers needlessly for the rest of her life. Plus, the wealthy person is still able to afford the better care, while the poorer people lose both legs when only one should have been lost — assuming that the first leg couldn’t have been saved in any case. A big assumption.

    The point being that Crowder warned us that we do not want government controlling health care, because we end up with what the government wants, not the quality, timely healthcare that we want and deserve.

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